Llorente in 2013
|Full name||Fernando Llorente Torres|
|Date of birth||26 February 1985|
|Place of birth||Pamplona, Spain|
|Height||1.95 m (6 ft 5 in)|
|Current club||Athletic Bilbao|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 00:00, 13 May 2013 (UTC).
† Appearances (Goals).
Fernando Llorente Torres (Spanish pronunciation: [ferˈnando ʎoˈɾente ˈtores]; born 26 February 1985), nicknamed El Rey León (The Lion King in Spanish), is a Spanish professional footballer who plays for Athletic Bilbao and the Spanish national team, as a striker.
Llorente started his career with Athletic Bilbao, working his way through the various youth ranks, and becoming one of the most important offensive players for the club in the following decade, since making his first team debut in 2005. He scored 29 goals for the club in all competitions in the 2011–12 season, and has been described as a "Bilbao legend".
Early years 
Though born in Pamplona, Llorente grew up in the municipality of Rincón de Soto in La Rioja. He joined Athletic Bilbao's youth system in 1996 at the age of 11, being eligible through his Navarrese roots.
Club career 
Llorente spent several seasons in the various junior levels of the club, moving in 2003 to CD Baskonia of Tercera División, effectively an Athletic youth team, and also a feeder club since 1997. He scored 12 goals in 33 games for Baskonia, paving way for his promotion to Bilbao Athletic – Athletic's reserve team – in Segunda División B.
After featuring in 16 matches and netting four goals for Bilbao B in the first half of the campaign, Llorente was awarded with a contract extension until June 2008. On 16 January 2005, he made his first-team – and La Liga – debut in a 1–1 home draw against RCD Espanyol. Three days later, in a Copa del Rey match with UD Lanzarote, he scored a hat-trick in a 6–0 victory, and would go on to feature in all but five of the 19 remaining league games while scoring three goals, and also featuring in four domestic cup matches and the UEFA Cup round-of-32 game against FK Austria Wien.
Before the 2005–06 season, Llorente's squad number was promoted from number 32 to 9. He scored in the opening day, a Basque derby 3–0 win against Real Sociedad but, throughout the season, found goals hard to come by, which could be partly attributed to a series of injuries including a knee strain, gastroenteritis and a muscle injury. He ended the season with just four goals, two in the league and as much in the Cup, against CE L'Hospitalet.
On 13 July 2006 Llorente signed a new contract with Athletic until June 2011, which included a buy-out clause of between €30 and 50 million. He started the season as arguably the club's fourth-choice striker, behind Aritz Aduriz, Joseba Etxeberria and veteran Ismael Urzaiz. Athletic's poor form and lack of goals led to coach Félix Sarriugarte rotating the players, allowing Llorente to force his way back into the side; he ended the campaign with only two goals in 23 matches, although he did score an important one in the closing minutes of a 1–1 draw at Valencia CF.
In preparation for the 2007–08 season, Llorente scored six goals in as many pre-season games, and another against CD Numancia in the Caja Duero Trophy. His form led to him becoming Athletic's first-choice forward, and although he started the season poorly, he ended it with a total of 11 league goals for a side that finished in mid-table. His tally included four goals in two games against Valencia, both impressive wins, and further strikes against FC Barcelona, Villarreal CF and Atlético de Madrid.
Prior to 2008–09, Llorente was confident of a successful season. "I know that I am capable of scoring goals and having a good year and I want to start this term in the same form that I ended the last one in" he said. Despite the team's modest start to the season he netted 14 league goals – a career-best – with another four in the Cup, helping his team reach the final against Barcelona (1–4 loss).
In the 2009–10 season, Llorente again reached double figures. He led all scorers in the Europa League for a lengthy period, with eight goals and added 14 in the league as Athletic finished in eighth position.
On 28 August 2010 Llorente scored the first goal of 2010–11, in a 1–0 win at Hércules CF. His form continued in the next ten league fixtures as he found the net seven times, eventually finishing the season with 18 goals (19 overall) as Athletic qualified to the Europa League.
In January/February 2012, in two away games separated by only four days, Llorente scored five goals: he started with a hat-trick in a 3–2 win against Rayo Vallecano, adding two in Athletic's 2-1 win over CD Mirandés in the Spanish Cup semifinals. In the next two matches, both at home, he netted three more, one against Espanyol in the league and two against Mirandés.
Llorente scored in both legs of the 2011–12 Europa League round-of-16 against Manchester United, as Athletic won both games and went through 5–3 on aggregate. In the next round he netted twice at FC Schalke 04 in a 4–2 win, helping the team eventually reach the final.
In August 2012 Llorente refused to sign a new deal with Athletic Bilbao, fuelling speculation that he might be leaving the club. Following a 0–2 derby loss at Real Sociedad on 29 September, in which he was a late substitute, he got into an argument with manager Marcelo Bielsa; two days later he walked out of training early and was sent to practice with the youth squad.
On 3 January 2013, Athletic confirmed that Llorente would be holding contract talks with Juventus FC. On the 21st the Italians' sporting director, Giuseppe Marotta, revealed that he was "very optimistic" that the player would join on 1 July, with Bilbao president Josu Urrutia believed to be unwilling to allow him to leave in the January transfer window. Three days later the club formalized the signing, and announced he would sign a four-year contract on 1 July when his contract with Bilbao expired.
International career 
Llorente represented Spain at the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship, his five goals winning him the silver boot as the competition's second highest scorer. He was also capped at under-18 and under-19 levels.
On 14 November 2008, senior national team manager Vicente del Bosque called Llorente up for a friendly against Chile. He was brought on as a substitute in the 72nd minute of the 3–0 win. He scored his first goal in a 2–0 friendly win over England on 11 February 2009, coming off the bench to score in the 64th minute. After netting 14 goals for Athletic in 2008–09, del Bosque named Llorente in his 23-man squad for the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup: he was used as a substitute against hosts South Africa, and scored in a 2–0 victory.
During the 2009–10 season, Llorente was not called-up once, as del Bosque favoured Álvaro Negredo. He would, however, be selected for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, also in South Africa, as third-choice striker, where he played in one match for the eventual champions, the last 30 minutes of the 1–0 round-of-16 win against Portugal.
On 8 October 2010, benefiting from an injury to Fernando Torres, Llorente started in a UEFA Euro 2012 qualifier against Lithuania, in Salamanca. With two headers – his strongest asset – he contributed prominently in a 3–1 win. Four days later, as a substitute, he scored the winner against Scotland in a 3–2 success at Hampden Park. He was selected for the final stages in Poland and Ukraine, being an unused squad member as Spain won another tournament.
Llorente represented the Basque Country national football team five times, making his debut against Cameroon in 2005. He scored one goal for the Euskadi in a match against Catalonia at the Camp Nou, played the following year, and made his last appearance in December 2007.
International goals 
|1||11 February 2009||Estadio Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán, Seville, Spain||England||2–0||2–0||Friendly|
|2||20 June 2009||Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein, South Africa||South Africa||2–0||2–0||2009 Confederations Cup|
|3||28 May 2010||Tivoli-Neu, Innsbruck, Austria||Saudi Arabia||3–2||3–2||Friendly|
|4||7 September 2010||El Monumental, Buenos Aires, Argentina||Argentina||3–1||4–1||Friendly|
|5||8 October 2010||Estadio El Helmántico, Salamanca, Spain||Lithuania||1–0||3–1||Euro 2012 qualifying|
|6||8 October 2010||Estadio El Helmántico, Salamanca, Spain||Lithuania||2–1||3–1||Euro 2012 qualifying|
|7||12 October 2010||Hampden Park, Glasgow, Scotland||Scotland||2–3||2–3||Euro 2012 qualifying|
- UEFA Europa League: Runner-up 2011–12
- Spanish Cup: Runner-up 2008–09, 2011–12
- Spanish Supercup: Runner-up 2009
- FIFA World Cup: 2010
- UEFA European Football Championship: 2012
- FIFA Confederations Cup: Third-place 2009
- UEFA-CAF Meridian Cup: 2003
- Updated as of 11 May 2013.
|Athletic Bilbao B||Segunda División B||2004–05||16||4||–||–||–||–||16||4|
|Athletic Bilbao||La Liga|
- Updated as of 13 August 2012.
|Spain national team|
- Updated as of 13 August 2012.
- "Un 'rey león' en el área" [A 'lion king' in the box] (in Spanish). Diario AS. 26 May 2010. Retrieved 12 September 2010.
- "Chelsea on high alert after striker Fernando Llorente rejects new deal with Athletic Bilbao". Evening Standard. 9 August 2012. Retrieved 10 August 2012.
- "Fue todo tan rápido que ni me lo creía" [Everything was so fast i could not believe it] (in Spanish). El Mundo Deportivo. 18 January 2005. Retrieved 12 September 2010.
- "Staff restructuring". Athletic Bilbao. 26 June 2003. Retrieved 14 December 2008.
- "Incorporations of Bilbao Athletic". Athletic Bilbao. 1 June 2004. Retrieved 14 December 2008.
- "Fernando Llorente’s contract extension". Athletic Bilbao. 11 December 2004. Retrieved 14 December 2008.
- "Athletic Club 1-Espanyol 1: No luck". Athletic Bilbao. 16 January 2005. Retrieved 14 December 2008.
- "Athletic Club 6-Lanzarote 0: It advanced". Athletic Bilbao. 20 January 2005. Retrieved 14 December 2008.
- "Numbers for the 2005–2006 season". Athletic Bilbao. 29 July 2005. Retrieved 14 December 2008.
- "Athletic Club 3 Real Sociedad 0: An excellent start to the season". Athletic Bilbao. 28 August 2005. Retrieved 14 December 2008.
- "Urzaiz fit to play, Prieto, Guerrero and Llorente sidelined". Athletic Bilbao. 19 October 2005. Retrieved 14 December 2008.
- "Several players injured as a result of the match". Athletic Bilbao. 8 January 2006. Retrieved 14 December 2008.
- "Llorente and Lacruz: Muscle overload". Athletic Bilbao. 24 April 2006. Retrieved 14 December 2008.
- "L’Hospitalet 1-Athletic Club 3: To the Round of 16". Athletic Bilbao. 9 November 2005. Retrieved 14 December 2008.
- "Llorente's renewal: press conference". Athletic Bilbao. 13 July 2006. Retrieved 14 December 2008.
- "Valencia 1-1 Athletic Bilbao". ESPN Soccernet. 11 November 2006. Retrieved 2 August 2012.
- "Valencia 0 – Athletic Club 3: A perfect match". Athletic Bilbao. 2 December 2007. Retrieved 14 December 2008.
- "Athletic Club 5 Valencia 1: A perfect night". Athletic Bilbao. 20 April 2008. Retrieved 14 December 2008.
- "Athletic Club 1-FC Barcelona 1: A proud point". Athletic Bilbao. 27 January 2008. Retrieved 14 December 2008.
- "Athletic Club 1-Villarreal 2: From better to worse". Athletic Bilbao. 22 February 2008. Retrieved 14 December 2008.
- "Atlético de Madrid 1-Athletic Club 2: A step in the right direction". Athletic Bilbao. 17 February 2008. Retrieved 14 December 2008.
- "Aduriz move surprised everyone – Llorente". All Things Mallorca. 2 September 2008. Retrieved 14 December 2008.
- "Llorente lifts Bilbao". ESPN Soccernet. 28 August 2010. Retrieved 23 April 2011.
- "Llorente hits hat-trick in Athletic win". ESPN Soccernet. 28 January 2012. Retrieved 1 February 2012.
- "El 'Rey León' saca las garras en Anduva" ['Lion King' shows claws in Anduva] (in Spanish). Marca. 1 February 2012. Retrieved 1 February 2012.
- "Albin's late strike earns Espanyol a point". ESPN Soccernet. 4 February 2012. Retrieved 7 February 2012.
- "Grandes y gigantes" [Great ones and giants] (in Spanish). Marca. 6 February 2012. Retrieved 7 February 2012.
- Enterprising Athletic stun United at Old Trafford; UEFA.com, 8 March 2012
- Athletic see off United with room to spare; UEFA.com, 15 March 2012
- Schalke stunned by late Athletic fightback; UEFA.com, 29 March 2012
- "Llorente walks out of training". ESPN FC. 1 October 2012. Retrieved 2 October 2012.
- "Fernando Llorente to hold talks with Juventus, Athletic Bilbao confirm". The Guardian. 3 January 2013. Retrieved 21 January 2013.
- "Juventus confident of signing Llorente". ESPN FC. 21 January 2013. Retrieved 21 January 2013.
- "Llorente to join Juventus". Juventus' official website. 24 January 2013. Retrieved 24 January 2013.
- "Silver Boot". Athletic Bilbao. 2 March 2006. Retrieved 14 December 2008.
- "The Spanish national team: Call up". Athletic Bilbao. 14 November 2008. Retrieved 14 December 2008.
- "Spain beats Chile 3–0 to cap historic season". IHT. 19 November 2008. Retrieved 14 December 2008.
- "Spain 2–0 England". BBC Sport. 11 February 2009. Retrieved 20 June 2009.
- "Spain – South Africa". FIFA.com. Retrieved 20 June 2009. Text "20 June 2009" ignored (help)
- Fernando Llorente; Athletic Club
- "Segundo gol de Llorente (video)" [Second Llorente goal] (in Spanish). RTVE. 11 February 2010. Retrieved 29 September 2010.
- "Llorente marca el segundo tanto, min 71' (video)" [Llorente scores at the Confederations Cup] (in Spanish). Telecinco. 20 June 2009. Retrieved 12 November 2010.
- "España 3-2 Arabia Saudí (Llorente) (video)" [Spain 3-2 Saudi Arabia (Llorente)] (in Spanish). RTVE. 28 March 2009. Retrieved 29 September 2010.
- "Llorente acorta distancias (3-1) (video)" [Llorente shortens the gap (3-1)] (in Spanish). RTVE. 7 September 2010. Retrieved 29 September 2010.
- "Llorente abre la lata (1-0) (video)" [Llorente opens can] (in Spanish). RTVE. 8 October 2010. Retrieved 9 October 2010.
- "Llorente adelanta de nuevo a España (2-1) (video)" [Llorente puts Spain ahead again] (in Spanish). RTVE. 8 October 2010. Retrieved 9 October 2010.
- "2–3. Cabezazo de oro (video)" [2–3. Golden header] (in Spanish). Telecinco. 12 October 2010. Retrieved 21 October 2010.
- "Los campeones del mundo de fútbol ya tienen la Real Orden del Mérito Deportivo" [The football World Champions already have the Royal Order of Sporting Merit] (in Spanish). El Mundo Deportivo. 5 January 2011. Retrieved 5 March 2013.
- Athletic Bilbao profile
- BDFutbol profile
- National team data
- Fernando Llorente at National-Football-Teams.com
- Fernando Llorente – FIFA competition record
- 2010 FIFA World Cup profile
- Fernando Llorente – UEFA competition record
- Transfermarkt profile
- Official website